Scottish gay rugby team crowned champions at the world’s LGBT rugby world cup
A Scottish gay rugby team has triumphed at a worldwide competition in America.
The Caledonian Thebans from Edinburgh won the Hoagland Cup at the Bingham Cup, a biennial event held in Nashville.
Winning all six matches against teams from England, America and Australia at the international event, the Thebans, one of five UK based teams taking part, beat the Chicago Dragons 38-12 in the final to land the trophy.
Neil Fox, the team’s Captain, said: “What a feeling – to come here, beat some of the best inclusive clubs in the world and leave as winners is just amazing. We felt we had the potential and I’m so proud that we delivered to it. We played our best-ever rugby this week, but there’s more to come from this team.”
Teams competed in a variety of competitions in Nashville and the Melbourne Chargers won the Bingham Cup after beating fellow Aussies, the Sydney Convicts, 20-7 in the Grand Final.
The Caledonian Thebans are hoping they can bring the competition to Scotland and are appealing for support to make their bid a success.
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“Scotland has always been on the inclusive rugby map, but now we’ve put our name in lights and it’s important we keep building on that,” said Club chairman Owen Greechan.
“We’ve a long, hard season coming up. We’ll be competing in a league and have the European championships in Madrid next April. And we’re bidding to bring the Bingham Cup 2018 to Edinburgh.”
The club is currently based at Edinburgh’s BT Murrayfield Stadium and competes with both mainstream and inclusive rugby clubs across the UK and Europe.
The Bingham Cup was named after Mark Bingham, a founding figure in the inclusive rugby movement who lost his life in the September 11 attacks, tackling hijackers aboard United Airlines Flight 93.
The competition started as an eight-club tournament in 2002 and has grown into a global event, featuring over 800 players from four continents.
Gay rugby has been growing in popularity over the years. The first club, the King’s Cross Steelers, was founded in 1995 and one of it’s founders Robert Hayward was given a seat in the Lords last year.